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Hawaii losing more folks to mainland than gaining

Federal figures show more people are leaving Hawaii for the mainland than coming to live in the state.

The U.S. Census Bureau’s latest population estimates show 10,000 more people left Hawaii than moved in from the mainland over the last year. About 30,000 more people left between 2010 and 2016.

The number of people leaving the state has increased over the years. From 2014 to 2015 about 6,700 people left for the mainland, up from just 941 in 2010.

The population loss this year was countered by local births and migrants from other countries.

According to the Census estimates, Hawaii’s population grew by less than 1 percent in 2016 compared with last year. The state added about 3,400 people over the one-year period that ended in July to reach a population of about 1.4 million.

Hawaii also averaged 51 births a day and 33 deaths.

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      • Many people on the west side are fed up with suffering in the horrendous traffic commuting to town trying to make a living here and are moving away for an easier life. Unfortunately many of our average locals will not be able to afford to come back later when the rising home prices here will be well out of reach. That is how locals get squeezed out of living in the best place on earth by rich outsiders coming in who can afford here. Rail needs to be finished all the way to downtown so that west siders can have a better commute and a better quality a life so they will stay here. Rail will help average locals so that they and future generations can can live in their homeland instead of moving to a lesser place on the mainland. We have come a long way with the rail and need to properly finish the sorely needed infrastructure.

        • You are quite out of touch. I am guessing that you do not live here and, therefore, do not truly understand the mindset of those of us who were born/raised here and continue to live here. Rail, in fact, is the actual reason why many “average locals” (your term) move away from Hawaii.

        • We are long overdue a serious addressing of the traffic problems out here in the Leeward and Central areas of Oahu.

          Previous governors, both Democrat and Republican, have made dismal efforts that did not work at relieving traffic.

          It took Mayor Hannemann’s great effort to achieve a break through and bring rail to Honolulu.

          The effort has taken 30 years of effort. And it has aggravated the housing problem as legislators worry about approving housing in the urban core that will make the traffic problem even worse.

          We are at the point where urban sprawl will happen if rail is not completed and more housing is not approved.

          Without rail, our children and grandchildren have no future.

  • My family has been here for 3 generations and my wife’s 4. We’ve decided that we’ve had enough. For us the rail is the straw that broke the camels back which we feel will eventually bankrupt our beloved city and its residents. So we purchased a home on the mainland several months ago and will be moving soon but will keep our home that we own here and use it as a rental. It’s just not worth it here anymore.

    • That’s what we did. My elderly in laws need care and we couldn’t afford a house that would allow them to move in so we headed to Texas. Found a six bedroom for 250k. We could never get that here. We are currently renting our old home to my niece and her husband, who are considering moving away as well.

    • Rail is not the problem. Blame the high cost of housing driven up by rich outsiders and investors. You are smart to keep your home here as a hedge against housing inflation and renting it out. If you didn’t have a second property, once you sell and move you will get squeeze out. Unfortunately most average locals are not in the same position as you.

        • IRT ukuleleblue. I would feel that way if I thought that our elected officials were using our money wisely. But all they do is waste and squeeze us for more and pretty soon they’ll be no one left to squeeze. If they were to manage their personal finances the way they do our tax money they would all be destitute.

        • Why are you complaining so much. My increase is double yours. Don’t you realize there is a housing shortage in Honolulu?

          Complain about that for a change. Lots of people have it worse.

      • I agree…. housing is being blocked by legislators who are afraid of the environmentalists.

        When they should be working for the people, they are afraid of those who are the shrillest in their criticism.

        Rail is the solution. If rail is not completed we will soon have urban sprawl as land is developed all over the island.

        Ben Cayetano doesn’t understand the issue when he says that there’s a lot of ag land in central Oahu for housing. He’s responsible for long delays in rail. He should apologize to the people of Honolulu.

  • If you believe in and love Socialism, the People’s Republic of Hawaii is the place for you. 99.9% ruled by the Democratic Party over the past 50 years with entitlements galore and increasing homelessness.

    Low paying jobs for our college graduates along with the high cost of living (food, shelter, and clothing) make it extremely difficult for young families.

    The exodus of residents comes at no surprise. If this keeps up, the future population of Hawaii will consist primarily low-income, senior citizens, very high income and a small middle class.

  • In the 1960s & 1970s, there were not that many good jobs in Hawaii, for local people, who were military veterans and college graduates.

    Student loans, were piling up, the higher you became educated. Being a head dishwasher or bouncer in a nightclub, were dead end jobs.

    Going to the mainland, to get a good career paying job, was the answer for many local people.

    However, there were many local people, who did return as retirees. They were taxed, pretty badly, for being so successful.

    It seems, that the only way to succeed in Hawaii, is to have name recognition, or know someone, or be government subsidized.

    If you have too much retiree money, everyone wants a piece of your success.

  • For the price of a dozen eggs here you can get 2 dozen for about the same price on the Mainland. I don’t blame anyone who wants to move. Also Hawaii is losing it’s paradise feel. Traffic, crime, corruptness rampant in our governments, idiots who aren’t qualified running our governments, spending money on useless projects, and the hardest thing to take is we voted for these clowns. If I could I would move.

  • I realize it will be impossible for most of our population here to succeed financially here in Hawaii. They will represent the group that wasn’t able to keep up with the Worlds subtle way of imposing on us how “Capitalism” works. And it will continue! It won’t stop, nothing has stopped it so far, electing extreme leaders won’t stop it… It’s how the human behavior is! Constant change to be better based on reward using money! “CAPITALISM” YOU EITHER UNDERSTAND IT or GET LEFT BEHIND! I’ve read and continue to read everything I can and than …. implement what I’ve read, and can see the results of that understanding. Staying the same and expecting the same is ignorant, and depending on others and government to make your situation better is wrong thinking. Go ahead and make and stand by your point of view, you are being left behind!

    • There aren’t the jobs. But what we really should be addressing this problem by common sense actions – like promoting more real estate development around rail stations and completing the rail.

      We should be aware that we have a natural advantage in tourism and further expand that by expanding Waikiki out to Sand Island and legalizing vacation rentals and BnBs. We should be having 15 million visitors a year instead of about 5 million. We’d have a lot more jobs if this is the case.

      And while we’re doing all this, the state should support the building of work-related housing in the city. People shouldn’t have to live out of their cars because they can’t find housing in the city where they work.

  • Not surprising… the economy on the mainland is reviving due to Obama’s efforts.

    There are better jobs there.

    And we still haven’t done anything to increase housing in Hawaii.

  • Hawaii’s unemployment rate is 3%, that is insane. People get a better job or move to the Big Island or Maui, why the mainland, just more mainlanders there. Hold onto to your land, stop selling.

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